Japan lends P7.36 B for Ph infra projects

By Zinnia B. dela Peña, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 27 2015 08:06 AM | Updated as of Mar 27 2015 04:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Japanese government is extending ¥19.5-billion loan or about P7.36 billion to support critical road infrastructure development as well as flood risk management projects in Cagayan De Oro.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) chief representative Noriaki Niwa yesterday signed the loan agreements covering the construction of four-grade interchanges in Metro Manila and flood risk protection projects for Cagayan De Oro River.

Nearly P3 billion of the total financial grant would go to the interchange construction project which would ease traffic congestion as well as enhance transportation capacity and efficiency around Metro Manila.

The project is part of the JICA-supported and NEDA-approved transport roadmap for Metro Manila and surrounding areas.

The interchanges would be built at EDSA-North Avenue-West Avenue-Mindanao Avenue interchange; Circumferential Road 5 (C5)-Greenmeadows-Calle Industria-Eastwood interchange; and EDSA-Roosevelt Avenue-Congressional Avenue interchange.

The Metro Manila interchange construction project would alleviate serious traffic congestion, as well as enhance transportation capacity and efficiency around Metro Manila. It is part of the JICA-supported and National Economic Development Authority-approved transport roadmap for Metro Manila and surrounding areas.

A bigger portion of the financial aid or P4.37 billion would be used to fund the construction of new dike/retaining wall and drainage outlets and the improvement of Kagayan Bridge as well as the preparation of a flood forecasting and warning system in the areas around Cagayan de Oro River.

The project would strengthen the resilience of communities along the Cagayan de Oro River stretch, from the Macajalar Bay to the Pelaez Bridge, to climate change and other hydrometeorological hazards by mitigating flood risk in the area.

During the signing ceremony, Purisima said, “This invaluable support addresses all the right needs as we seek to build an economy well-guarded against disasters and strongly invested in the mobility and connectivity of its people. We expect these projects to bring about a multiplier effect to our macroeconomic successes and to improve the quality of life in the Philippines.”

He emphasized that infrastructure improvement and flood risk mitigation are critical components of development. “These projects strengthen our ability to adapt to emerging challenges: traffic congestion and flooding are pressing concerns in urban areas. These projects reflect the serious commitment we share with our allies to unlock the limits of our growth frontiers,” Purisima said.

Japan remains to be the Philippines’ top bilateral source of ODA loans. JICA currently supports the loan financing of 18 projects amounting to $2.54 billion in the sectors of agriculture and agrarian reform, infrastructure, flood control, environment, climate change, and disaster rehabilitation.

Japan has been the top donor country to the Philippines for the past 23 years. Despite its current economic difficulties, Japan continues to support the Philippines.

For the past 10 years, more than half of the total foreign assistance to the Philippines has been extended by Japan.

Japanese assistance to the Philippines has also been funneled through multilateral donors such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and various UN agencies.

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